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January 19, 2014: Waging War Against Whalers, Paragliding Above Pakistan and More

Join host Boyd Matson as he and his guests sleep high on sheer mountain cliffs, wage war against whalers, consume bacteria in pursuit of better health, crash during paragliding takeoff in Pakistan, eat invasive species, and photograph 30 years of warfare in Afghanistan.

PROJECT: ICE Documentary Portrays Changing Climate on the Great Lakes

As the polar vortex descended on Washington, D.C. on Monday night, my husband and I joined Water Currents editor Brian Clark Howard for a private screening of PROJECT: ICE, a fascinating new documentary about the Great Lakes. What was conceived as a documentary about ferries and shipping on the Great Lakes became something else. During filming,…

Snowboarder Jeremy Jones Ventures to Earth’s Far Corners for Conservation

Elite athletes, like Jeremy, not only bring years of skill and expertise, but their celebrity can also provide an excellent platform from which to educate others on conservation issues.

Quantum Correlations: Chasing Ice Review: Prepare for “Glacier-Less National Park”

By Alaina G. Levine Like Ice? Recognize its importance to the health of the planet and the very existence of humankind? Then prepare to be horrified and generally freaked-out by a new documentary that shows in shocking detail how fast our glaciers are retreating, melting and disappearing. It’s history in the making, says James Balog,…

Ice, Ice Mercury

It’s rare that astronomers declare news with great certainty, so the announcement that water ice was confirmed in Mercury’s poles is an “exclamation point.” The amount of ice is also astounding—100 billion to a trillion metric tons, or something like layering Washington, D.C. with 2 to 2.5 miles of ice.

Chasing Ice: Documenting Climate Change in Pictures of Retreating Glaciers

Five years ago photographer James Balog collaborated on a National Geographic magazine story called The Big Thaw, documenting the retreat of the world’s glaciers in what has been the most popular National Geographic article on the environment since then. This led to further visual documentation and most recently a film called Chasing Ice. At the…

Moon Used to Peek Inside Jupiter’s “Missing” Belt

Last May amateur astronomers alerted the world to the fact that the gas giant planet Jupiter had lost a belt. Normally the stormy world is encircled by two dark, rusty bands of clouds created by fast-moving jet streams. The features are easy to spot with a backyard telescope (and even easier with pro ‘scopes, such…

Expedition Antarctica: On Thin Ice

By Christine Dell’Amore Christine Dell’Amore is participating in a National Science Foundation media trip to report on scientists conducting polar research near McMurdo Station, Antarctica. Today truly felt Antarctic. So far the weather’s been no worse than a wintry day in D.C., but a storm barreled in this morning that is like nothing I’ve experienced–winds…

Europe Asks If It Can Probe Uranus

This past September the giant planet Jupiter made its closest approach to Earth since 1951, briefly becoming the brightest object in the night sky, aside from the moon. And not too far from that brilliant dot, sky-watchers with even modest binoculars could easily spot one of Jupiter’s distant relatives: the icy gas planet Uranus. Uranus’…

Remembering Antarctica, 20 Years Later

Two decades after leading a multi-national team on the first complete dogsled traverse of Antarctica, polar adventurer and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence emeritus Will Steger reflects on the expedition–and what climate change means for our planet. On March 3, 1990, a team of six men from six different countries and their 42 sled dogs completed the…

Did a Comet Make Jupiter’s Rings Wave?

When you’re talking about a gas giant planet with rings, it’s often Saturn in the limelight. After all, you can see that planet’s bright disk of icy particles from Earth with just a modest telescope. But in 1979 the Voyager 1 spacecraft saw that Jupiter has rings too, albeit a much fainter system primarily made…

Springtime for Phoenix, Summer on Triton

Update: Even as I was typing this, the HiRISE team was posting a brand-new picture of a Martian avalanche! Check it out below … Spring is in bloom on Earth’s Northern Hemisphere, melting snows, coaxing out budding leaves on trees, and otherwise making its mark on the landscape. On northern Mars, spring has been revving…

In Space, There’s Water, Water Everywhere

Today on Earth, people across the globe will be reflecting on water for World Water Day. —NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Image by Reto Stöckli We are a water world—just about any gradeschooler can tell you that water covers roughly 70 percent of Earth’s surface. The trick is that just 2.5 percent of that water…

Demystifying De-Icers

Since we are still under several feet of snow here at National Geographic headquarters in Washington, DC, with more snow on the way, now is as good a time as any to talk about the chemicals used to de-ice the roads. The most commonly used, and least expensive, de-icing chemical is sodum chloride (or rock…

NASA to Check Whether Phoenix Survived the Winter

No, Arizona, the space agency will not be making a visit to your lovely but likely unharmed state capital. Instead, scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory are hoping against hope that the Phoenix Mars Lander might have somehow made it through harsh winter conditions at its final resting place in the Martian arctic. Phoenix amid…